10. A Healing Touch
A/N : ' this is thoughts'
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A Healing Touch
Rage screamed through the ranger's veins with a ferocity of a wounded, wild beast. Twisting and burning, ever deeper, grief consumed her mind like a flame to dry tinder. Inside her heart, agony ripped at the very core of the ranger's sanity. 'It is happening again! Sweet Eru, how can I bear to go through this again. The grief is just beginning. More will fall by the wayside, but there is nothing I can do. Why must I know what is to come? Why can I not be ignorant of the fate set before us, like the rest of Arda? Will I never forget the sight of that flaming demon sheep? BALROG! May it be sent back to the abyss from whence it came, to bother us nevermore. I can not even ease the sorrow from the hearts of the others. Forbidden to speak my knowledge, but to Gandalf and the Lady Galadriel, whom I have never seen. The pain and grief roll off of the Fellowship like a firestorm. Poor Frodo! His burden is too great for one small being and now he must walk his path in certainty that Gandalf is gone forever. I want to scream at them that he is not truly dead, that his death here is but a cocoon. He will transform into a butterfly of terrifying power, but alas I can not. How do I go on? How do I help them cope with this, when I can not get past my own rage?' Fire bitterly stared out towards the forest far ahead.
Turning to the sound of Aragorn's voice, she saw the despair in his eyes. "Legolas! Gimli! Boromir! Get them up!" Boromir snarled at Aragorn thinking the other man callus. "Give them a moment for pity's sake!", the man from Gondor cried in outrage. Sighing heavily, Aragorn looked at the company. "By nightfall, these hills will be swarming with orcs. We must make it to the Golden Woods." Looking to the side, Aragorn spotted Frodo wandering away from the company. He called to the grieving Hobbit who stopped and came back to the group. All the remaining Fellowship began the desperate journey to the fabled Lothlorien, home of the elves of Lord Celeborn and the Lady of the Woods, Galadriel.
They had been traveling for quite some time, when Aragorn called a short rest for the sake of the Hobbits. Dropping to the ground right where she stood, Fire tried to relax and calm her emotions. She was startled when a shadow eclipsed the sun. Looking up, she spied Legolas standing over her with bandages and a water flask. "I saw you had been injured by one of the Goblin arrows. Why did you not speak out sooner that it was still within your shoulder?", he asked softly. Confused, Fire looked into the elf's grief stricken eyes, "I do not understand? I have no wound or pain that I have felt." Realizing that the ranger was not only wounded, but in shock, Legolas reached out slowly, as if she would spook at the slightest noise.
The gentle touch of Legolas' hand brought her attention to her shoulder. Fire stared at it in surprise. The remains of an arrow was imbedded in her shoulder, but she felt no pain. "When did I get hit? I do not remember anything after Gandalf fell. How can this be? That I can feel nothing?", the barely audible sound of Fire's voice bothered the elf greatly. He had never seen the ranger so lost and confused. Her vulnerability tugged at his heart. The urge to pull her in his arms and comfort her was almost overpowering. He touched her cheek in a gentle caress. "I will remove the arrow. It will be painful, but it must be done. You received it as we fled the black pit." Frowning, the ranger tried to think back to the last few minutes in the mines of Moria. She could not recall anything past the face of Gandalf as he fell after the Balrog.
Placing a hand on the elf's chest, Fire began to violently shake. Seeing her distress, Legolas sat on the ground next to her and pulled the ranger onto his lap. Holding her tenderly, he began to quietly sing in Elvish. The feel of his arms holding her tightly, caused Fire to come undone. Silent tears slid down her cheeks as she burrowed deeper into the elf's embrace. Legolas just held her tighter. His hands soothed down her back, as the ranger's tears continued to soak the front of his tunic.
Aragorn started at the touch of Gimli's hand on his arm. "Aragorn I think the elf needs some help with the lassie's wound. She took an arrow in the shoulder, but she is so distraught the elf can do naught for her at the moment. It may go easier on her if the elf keeps hold of her as he does now and have you remove what is left of the arrow." With that said, Gimli went to check on the Hobbits. Aragorn stood motionless watching Legolas comfort the ranger. The gentle tenderness was in marked contrast to his usual way of dealing with the headstrong elleth. That Fire accepted Legolas' embrace willingly surprised Aragorn and yet gave hope that the two combatants actually might care for one another more then they showed.
Aragorn knelt in front of the two grieving elves. His eyes took in the abject misery on the ranger's face and the despair in Legolas' eyes. The death grip Fire had on the elf's tunic spoke of her mind's turmoil. Speaking softly, in Elvish, Aragorn reached out to brush some of the ranger's moon colored hair back behind her pointed ears. "Legolas we need to see to the wound. You will need to hold her tightly when I remove the arrow and clean the wound. She seems to trust you, my friend. Mayhap you will finally become friends or more even. It would be nice to see an end to the war you two engage in, as amusing it is to watch. I think more is felt between you, then either realizes. Alright, hold her still for me, so I may cut the arrow out. If she moves, more damage can be done and she has suffered enough already." Legolas tightened his grip and nodded to Aragorn.
As Aragorn moved closer to the wound, Fire lifted her head and said softly, "I will not move Aragorn no matter the pain. Please just get it done quickly." Both Aragorn and Legolas stared at the ranger in shock. It was not the fact that she spoke so softly, but what language she spoke in. Fluent Elvish passed her lips despite the fact Fire had told them, one night by the fire, that she could not speak it. "You lied to us! You speak Elvish! You told us, though you are of elf kind you could not speak it. Why would you do this?" The ranger's head shot up. Locking her eyes on the furious blue gaze of the elf, she realized her error.
Stammering at the hurt look in Legolas' eyes, "I-I am sorry. No one but the twins, who taught it to me, and Lord Glorfindel know I speak Sindarian. I kept it a secret only out of necessity. The other rangers would have wanted to know how I learned to speak it and I did not want anyone knowing my heritage. It is hard enough being a ranger when no one knows you are female. To find out I am female and not human would have set the rangers against me. I only speak it when I am hunting orc with the twins. Even Lord Elrond has no knowledge of my languages skills. If HE finds out he is going to kill me slowly, because of all the times he muttered inappropriate things during our weekly lectures on behavior more suited to elleth. His imagination is quite vivid! I will not ask you to forgive me, that is up to you to decide. Now if one of you would be so kind as to drag out this arrow, we need to move on if we wish to reach Lothlorien by nightfall."
Aragorn grabbed the piece of arrow showing just above her skin and pulled. Blood welled up as he began to clean the wound. "Oh yes that hurt.", Fire muttered as she fell back against the elf unconscious. Still furious, Legolas glared down at her. His demeanor softened as he took in her pale face and closed eyes. "She is too stubborn for her own good. It is amazing she has lasted this long without getting herself killed. Why would she wish to live the life of a ranger when I know Lord Elrond would have allowed her to stay in Imlandris. A very unique puzzle she is, and she hides more then she reveals. I find myself frustrated by her actions, yet intrigued against my will.", Legolas mumbled more to himself then Aragorn who was putting the finishing touches to the bandaged shoulder.
Reaching into his pocket, Aragorn brought out a tiny herb twig. The smell from it, when crushed, brought the ranger out of her pained fog and into the reality of still laying of the elf's lap with her head tucked cozily under his chin. Blushing, Fire tried to untangle herself from the elf's arms and stand. With Aragorn's help she stood up swaying just a tiny bit. "Thank you both for your assistance. I am able to continue as the day grows short and we have much ground to cover.", Fire said trying to hide the bright red flush on her face. She hoped they took it to be embarrassment instead of the true reason; Legolas' embrace.
The company moved onward with much haste. The light was failing and soon the hills would be swarming with enemies. The sight of the Golden Wood was most welcome. Slowly, crossing into the Wood's border, none of the company saw Fire drift away from the Fellowship further into the trees.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.